The Other Bogeyman in the Closet – Self-Rejection

Writing is hard. Go to any social media site and you’ll see posts from writers who declare that they want to write but don’t.  Others wait for divine inspiration and express frustration at their lack of ideas. Still more, state for public consumption that what they write is drek.

If as you sit at your writing place and start from the position of,”I have nothing to say” you have self-rejected.  If as you take your morning walk or drive and your internal editor knocks down ideas that pop at random. You have self-rejected.

All writers live under the delusion that every word they write must be both brilliant and perfect. Many forget that writing is a process, a practice. Self-rejection interrupts both. If every sentence, paragraph or page is rejected you may end up with a few finely honed, technically precise pages but in the process, you will remove the heart, the truth, the vulnerability of a readable story.

First, we must write. Think of first draft words as lumps of coal. Miners know that one found lump of coal indicates that there must be others. So many that perhaps a little digging will bring up enough coal for warmth and power.  They also know that coal can hide diamonds or other veins of ore. Diamonds are accessed by rubbing away the coal to get to the sparkle.

Fill your first draft with words that are misshapen, string them together until you have pages. Allow the pages to see daylight. In the sun look for the hints of sparkle. Allow the pages to age before you read a completed manuscript. Surprise your self. You will find that you have mined more than coal.

Edit and polish until you find the true vein of your work.

by Lee Heffner

Lee’s passions are writing and writers. She began her work with creatives in 1995. A writer of both fiction and non-fiction, she integrates her passion and skills to coach other writers to achieve their goals. In addition she teaches to further develop the writing practices of her students.

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© 2024 Lee Heffner – Author